Subject: Joseph Actually Had to Be in Prison
In Sonlight's World Literature program, there's a book that I wish all believers would read: The Insanity of God. A missionary, crushed by the tremendous need, and the seeming ineffectiveness of believers in the face of hell on earth, toured various closed countries around the world, meeting with believers who have stood strong in the face of persecution. This book is the summary of what he found.
One of the ideas that struck me when I first read it, and has continued to resonate for several years, is that Joseph, unjustly imprisoned, might have prayed to be released. We know that he sought help from his fellow prisoner, but when the prisoner—Pharaoh's wine taster—was released, the man forgot Joseph. For a couple more years.
It's easy to forget this period of the story, because we know the ending so well, when Pharaoh dreams, the wine taster pipes up, Joseph is released and becomes second in command over all Egypt, and the prophetic dreams are all fulfilled.
But during this time in prison—that's not so pleasant to think about.
And yet, Joseph had to be there, so that when Pharaoh dreamed, Joseph the dream interpreter was ready.
This is one of the lessons of the persecuted church: if the Lord puts you in prison, trust that he has a purpose for you there, and don't seek to leave prematurely. Seek to be faithful where God has put you, whether that's in prison or in the Pharaoh's court.
I don't know what your "prison" is today. I hope it's not homeschooling, though I know that, for some people, it might be. But I have friends and sisters in Christ who deal with chronic fatigue, cancer treatments, marital breakdown, post-partum depression.
My prayer for you is that, when you find yourself in some form of constrained situation, that you are sustained.
Because Joseph's story didn't end in prison. There was a different ending, that was prophetically told from the beginning. And it came, in God's time.
If I could get really personal here . . . just over a year ago, one of my dear friends died.
And I was driving around Virginia, listening to the Sons of Korah sing Psalm 91. Listen now. This Psalm ends, "I will satisfy him with long life."
And it rocked me back, because my beautiful, godly friend did not have long life.
But then the singer sang, "A long, eternal life" . . . and I remembered that my story isn't over when my days on this planet are.
Neither is your story.
Go in courage and peace.
More to come.
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Homeschooling mom to five